This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (March 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Centrism is a political outlook or position involving acceptance or support of a balance of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy while opposing political changes that would result in a significant shift of society to the left or the right.[1]

Both centre-left and centre-right politics involve a general association with centrism that is combined with leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the left–right political spectrum. Various political ideologies, such as Christian democracy,[2] Pancasila,[3][4][5] and certain forms of liberalism like social liberalism,[6] can be classified as centrist, as can the Third Way,[7] a modern political movement that attempts to reconcile right-wing and left-wing politics by advocating for a synthesis of centre-right economic platforms with centre-left social policies.[8][9]

Usage by political parties by country


There have been centrists on both sides of politics who serve alongside the various factions within the Liberal and Labor parties. Centrism is represented by the moderates in the Liberal Party and Labor Right in the Labor Party.

The Australian Democrats are the most prominent centrist party in Australian history. The party had representation in the Senate from 1977 to 2007, frequently holding the balance of power. Formed by Don Chipp on a promise to "Keep the Bastards Honest", it was known to have represented the "middle ground". The party regained registration in 2019.

In addition, many smaller groups have formed in response to the bipartisan system that upholds centrist ideals. South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon launched his centrist political party called the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) in 2014, which was renamed the Centre Alliance in 2018.


In Bangladeshi politics, the term "centre" (as well as centre-left) is often labelled with Bengali nationalism and secularism, in contrast to the right wing, which is labelled with Bangladeshi nationalism and Islamism. The Awami League is the oldest existing centrist political party in Bangladesh.[10][11] It was originally founded as a centre-left party but moved towards centrism in the late 1970s.

Other centrist political parties in Bangladesh include the Nationalist Democratic Movement, the Liberal Democratic Party, and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh.


The traditional centrist party of Flanders was the People's Union, which embraced social liberalism and aimed to represent Dutch-speaking Belgians who felt culturally suppressed by Francophones. The New Flemish Alliance is the largest and, since 2009, the only extant successor of that party. It is, however, primarily composed of the right wing of the former People's Union and has adopted a more liberal-conservative ideology in recent years.

Among French-speaking Belgians, the Humanist Democratic Centre is a centre party as it is considerably less conservative than its Flemish counterpart, Christian Democratic and Flemish.

Other parties in the centre of the political spectrum are the liberal Reformist Movement and the French-speaking minority party DéFI.[citation needed]


There are several centrist parties in Brazil, such as the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), a catch-all party and one of the largest political parties in Brazil.

The Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) is another example of a centrist party in Brazilian politics.

Other centrist parties include the Social Democratic Party (Brazil, 2011) (PSD), the Green Party (Brazil) (PV), Citizenship (Brazil) (CID), and the Republican Party of the Social Order (PROS).

Due to the high number of centre parties in Brazil, they exert a major position in local politics, and due to that, parties that are not part of major parties of the right-wing or the left-wing are pejoratively called Centrão (meaning 'big centre').[12]


Further information: Politics of Canada § Political culture

Throughout modern history, Canadian governments at the federal level have governed from a moderate, centrist political position,[13] practicing "brokerage politics".[a][16][17][18] Both the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada (or its predecessors) rely on attracting support from a broad spectrum of voters.[19][20][21] The historically predominant Liberals position themselves at the centre of the Canadian political scale, being more moderate and centrist than the centre-right Conservative.[22][18][23] In the late 1970s, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau claimed that his Liberal Party of Canada adhered to the "radical centre".[24][25] Far-left and far-right politics have never been prominent forces in Canadian society.[26][27][14][28]


The Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats and the People's Party – Reformists may be considered centrist parties. The agrarian Croatian Peasant Party became moderate and centrist during its last years, having been centre-right in the past.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has many prominent centrist parties, including the syncretic populist movement ANO 2011, the civil libertarian Czech Pirate Party, the long-standing Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party, and the localist party Mayors and Independents.


Main article: Centrism in Estonia


Main article: Centrism in France

France has a tradition of parties that call themselves "centriste", though the actual parties vary over time. When a new political issue emerges and a new political party breaks into the mainstream, the old centre-left party may be de facto pushed rightwards,[29] but unable to consider itself a party of the right, it will embrace being the new centre. This process occurred with Orléanism, Moderate Républicanism, Radical Republicanism, and Radical-Socialism.

The most notable centrist party is Renaissance (LREM), founded by Emmanuel Macron, who was elected President of France in May 2017.[29] Macron prefers not to use the term "centrist" to describe himself, though his policies tend to be centrist.[29] Another party is the Democratic Movement of François Bayrou, founded in 2007, which was the successor of the Christian democratic Union for French Democracy.


In 1990, Joachim Gauck (who is a former German President, centrist politician and activist without party affiliation) took part in the Alliance 90, which had become independent after its merger with The Greens.

Politische Mitte (German for 'political middle' / 'political centre') is used for the political centre and centrism. Historically, the German party with the most purely centrist nature among German parties to have had current or historical parliamentary representations was most likely the social-liberal German Democratic Party of the Weimar Republic (1918–1933).

During the Weimar Republic (and again after the Nazi period), there existed a Zentrum, a party of German Catholics founded in 1870. It was called the Centre Party not for being a proper centrist party but because it united left-wing and right-wing Catholics, because it was the first German party to be a Volkspartei (catch-all party), and because his elected representatives sat between the liberals (the left of the time) and the conservatives (the right of the time). However, it was distinctly right-wing conservative in that it was not neutral on religious issues (such as secular education), being markedly against more liberal and modernist positions.

The main successor of Zentrum after the return of democracy to West Germany in 1945, the Christian Democratic Union, has, throughout its history, alternated between describing itself as right-wing or centrist and sitting on the right-wing (with the Free Democratic Party in its social liberal moments sitting at its left, in the centre, and themselves sitting at the centre, with the FDP in its classical liberal moments sitting at its right, in the right-wing). The representatives of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, although they have referred to themselves as "the new middle" many times since the 1990s (under the influence of the Third Way of the time), feel less at ease describing their party as centrist due to their history and socialist identity.

Alliance 90/The Greens was founded in 1993 as a merger of the East German Alliance 90 (a group of centrist and transversalist civil rights activists) and the (West) German Greens. The latter was a coalition of various unorthodox-left politicians and more liberal "realists". This Bundestag party also hesitates to use the term centre, although it distances itself from the left, which identifies it for the moment as a transversalist party. The transversalist moderation of the party and its position in the Bundestag between the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats also point somewhat to The Greens being a more or less centrist party.

In the state parliaments of specific German states, other specifically regional parties could be identified as centrist. The South Schleswig Voter Federation of the Danish and Frisian minorities in the state of Schleswig-Holstein currently has a centrist political position, although, in the past, the party usually leaned to the left. In the German presidential elections of 2009, 2010, and 2012, it supported the candidates of the Social Democrats and the Greens. In Bavaria, the Free Voters party at the state parliament may also be seen as a centrist party.


In modern Greek politics, the roots of centrism can be traced to the centrist politician and founder of the Agricultural and Labour Party, Alexandros Papanastasiou. In 1961, Georgios Papandreou created, along with other political leaders, the coalition party of the Centre Union. Five parties were merged: the Liberal Party, the Progressive Agricultural Democratic Union, the National Progressive Centre Union, and the Popular Social Party, into one with a strong centrist agenda, opposed equally to the right-wing party of the National Radical Union and the left-wing party of the United Democratic Left. The Centre Union Party was the last Venizelist party to hold power in Greece. The party nominally continued to exist until 1977 (after the Junta, known as the Centre Union – New Forces), when its successor Union of the Democratic Centre (EDIK) party was created.

The Union of Centrists was created by Vassilis Leventis in 1992 under the title "Union of Centrists and Ecologists", though the name was changed shortly after. The Union of Centrists claims to be the ideological continuation of the old party Centre Union. The party strives to become "the political continuance of the centrist expression in Greece". Leventis aimed to become part of the Venizelist legacy of some great politicians of the past, such as Eleftherios Venizelos and George Papandreou Sr. However, the party's total influence had been marginal until 2015, with 1.8% of the total votes (in the January 2015 Greek legislative election) being its highest achievement before finally making its way to the Greek Parliament in September 2015 with 3.4% of the total votes and nine members elected.

A short-lived social liberal party, The River, founded and led by Stavros Theodorakis, gained seats both in the Greek and European parliaments in 2015. The River dissolved in 2019.


The Indian National Congress,[30][31] the Aam Aadmi Party,[32] and the Nationalist Congress Party[33] are the centrist national parties.

Two state parties, Bharat Rashtra Samithi[34] and Telugu Desam Party,[35] are also described as centrists, along with actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's party named Makkal Needhi Maiam, meaning People's Centre for Justice.[36]


Golkar, a major political party in Indonesia, has established itself and also gained a reputation as a centrist party when it comes to addressing the challenges of the country's diversity. Pancasila and the unity of Indonesia has always been the fundamental norms in resolving various problems.

Quoting from the statement of Airlangga Hartarto (General Chair of the Golkar Party 2017–present), "Leaving no one behind for the sake of the people, without distinguishing who they are, and where they are. Golkar is an inclusive political party that works to ensure an equal distribution of welfare for all people."[37]


In Ireland, both main political parties (Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael) claim the political centre ground but lean to the centre-right.[38] The two parties have broadly similar policies, with their primary division being in Irish Civil War politics. Fine Gael is aligned with Christian democratic parties in Europe via its membership in the European People's Party.[39]


In Israel, centrism is represented by the Yesh Atid Party, led by Yair Lapid, the former Prime Minister of Israel. The party was founded in 2013 and has remained a major player on the political scene. It served in government between 2013 and 2015, with Lapid serving as Israel's Finance Minister and a member of the Security Cabinet. In 2020, after a year of political turmoil in Israel, Yair Lapid became the Leader of the Opposition to the fifth government of Benjamin Netanyahu, and in 2021, he was sworn in as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Naftali Bennett. After that, he became the prime minister of Israel in June 2022.

Yair Lapid published a long political essay entitled Only the center can hold: Democracy and the battle of ideas,[40] in which he laid out his vision of political centrism in Israel.[41]

There are those such as Diana Buttu who assert that centrism does not exist in Israel, due to centrist parties in Israel being Zionist and supporting Israeli military occupation, attacks on Gaza and the denial of equal rights for Palestinians.[42] She has said that those of this political make-up in other countries would be labelled as "right-wing extremists".[42]


Following World War II, the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) became the ruling force in Japan in 1955 and was opposed to the left-wing Japan Socialist Party (JSP). This is called the 1955 System. However, since the 1960s, centrist parties have emerged, the old Komeito,[43] the Democratic Socialist Party,[43][44][45][46] and the Socialist Democratic Federation.[43] In 1992, reformers left the right-wing LDP and founded the centre to centre-right liberal Japan New Party, but it was disbanded after two years.[47]

The New Frontier Party (NFP) was founded by politicians with various ideologies, including Buddhist democrats, social democrats, liberals, and conservatives. The NFP was a political coalition to oppose the LDP and is therefore generally regarded as a centrist party, although it had no coherent ideology.

Founded in 1998 by moderates of the conservative LDP and the socialist JSP, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) advocated liberalism and "Democratic Centrism" (民主中道) as its main ideology. The Democratic Party for the People (DPP), which continues the current DPJ trend, is advocating "reformist centrism" (改革中道).[48] The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) is more progressive in inheriting DPJ liberalism, but at the same time advocates for traditional Japanese virtues.[49]


The Rastriya Swatantra Party, fourth Largest National Party of Nepal is often described as a Centrist party.[50][51][52]


In the Netherlands, four moderate centrist to centre-right parties have sent members into the Third Rutte cabinet since 2017. From them, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) tend to be centre-right, whilst the social liberal Democrats 66 (D66) are more centrist.[53] The Protestant Christian Union is a small Christian Democratic party with transversalist positions less typical of European centrist parties. While it is left-leaning on immigration, welfare, and the environment, it is more conservative on social issues such as drugs and euthanasia. They have participated in several coalitions due to their moderate centrist politics.

Another centrist party is the populist Pensioners' interests party 50PLUS, which combines social democratic, social liberal, and social conservative positions.

Livable Netherlands was originally a centrist political movement of local grass-roots parties with an anti-establishment touch similar to early D66. However, the party entered in 2002 national parliament with a right-wing populist programme based on security and immigration as the major issues.[citation needed]

In the 1980s and 1990s, two self-described "centre" parties, the Centre Party and the Centre Democrats, were represented in the Dutch parliament at some point. However, these parties were considered far right (in the case of the Centre Democrats) or even extreme right (in the case of the Centre Party) in their opinion about foreign immigration.[54] Both parties denied being racist or extremist. The party slogan of the Centre Party was "Dutch: Niet rechts, niet links, lit.'Neither rightist, nor leftist'", and in some respect could be seen as a centrist (or more correctly, Third Position) party since it borrowed ideas from the political (far) right (a tough stand on immigration combined with typical racial prejudice) and the political left (mixed economy, green politics). However, both parties did not have a coherent ideology; they were one-issue parties focused on what they perceived as mass immigration from non-European countries.

New Zealand

Centrism in New Zealand has only been mainstream since New Zealand First was founded in 1993. The party platforms itself on a broad centrist position, mainly on economic issues and populism, while being generally conservative on social issues, favouring binding referendums[55][56] instead of MPs making major social decisions. New Zealand First could be described as syncretic politically, or adopting key elements from the traditional left-right political spectrum. The party has twice found itself the kingmakers under the mixed-member proportional representation electoral system (MMP), meaning that they choose who will form the next government. This has happened in 1996 and in 2017.[57]

Small centrist parties such as The Opportunities Party (TOP) have been formed in the past, but they have not gained major support and have never passed the 5% threshold to enter parliament. The role of centrism in New Zealand has been mainly to work with parties to form coalition governments and to provide alternatives to governments, and their ability to do so is mainly due to the MMP electoral system, which provides more ground for minor parties in Parliament. In the 2020 New Zealand general election, where Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand Labour Party achieved a majority in the New Zealand House of Representatives, New Zealand First was not re-elected to Parliament due to the party's inability to reach the 5% threshold to enter parliament. After 2023 New Zealand general election, New Zealand First made a government coalition with National Party and ACT New Zealand.

Nordic countries

Campaign for the Norwegian Centre Party at Nærbø: like its Finnish and Swedish counterparts, the party has a strong focus on decentralisation and rural and agrarian issues.

Main article: Nordic agrarian parties

See also: Centrism in Finland, Centrism in Iceland, and Centrism in Sweden

In most of the Nordic countries, there are Nordic agrarian parties. In addition to the centrist position on the socio-economic left-right scale, these share a clear, separate ideology.

This position is centred on decentralisation, a commitment to small business, and environmental protection. Centrists have aligned themselves with the Liberal International and European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. Historically, these parties were farmers' parties committed to maintaining rural life. In the 1960s, these parties broadened their scope to include non-farmer-related issues and renamed themselves the Centre Party in Sweden, Venstre in Denmark, Centre Party in Finland, Centre Party in Norway, and Progressive Party in Iceland.

Neither the Centre Democrats (a now-defunct centrist political party) nor the Liberal Alliance (a political party founded as a centrist social liberal party but that now is a classical liberal party), both of Denmark, are rooted in centrist agrarianism.


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), founded by Imran Khan, claims to be a centrist political party.[58] Following the general election of 2013, PTI emerged as the second-largest political party in Pakistan by number of votes.[59] In July 2018, it won the general elections of Pakistan and chairman Imran Khan became Prime Minister.[60]


The Third Way is a small centrist Palestinian political party active in Palestinian politics. Founded on 16 December 2005, the party is led by Salam Fayyad and Hanan Ashrawi.[61]

In the January 2006 PLC elections, it received 2.4% of the popular vote and won two of the Council's 132 seats. The party presents itself as an alternative to the two-party system of Hamas and Fatah.


This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Civic Platform (PO), ruling from 2007 to 2015, began in 2001 as a liberal conservative party but later, under the leadership of Donald Tusk, became typically centrist to attract left-leaning liberal voters. Depending on the context, it is described as either Christian democratic (it is a member of the European People's Party), conservative, liberal, or social. Its pragmatism, technocracy, and lack of ideology have nevertheless been criticized. Under Grzegorz Schetyna, it was announced that it had shifted to the right. Under its current leader, Borys Budka, as a part of the Civic Coalition, it turned to progressivism again, as seen by policies proposed by their candidate, Rafał Trzaskowski, in the 2020 presidential election. Other political groups, such as the Polish People's Party (PSL), may be described as centrist too. In contrast, the national-moral right-wing Law and Justice is socially conservative while usually at the same time being economically left-wing and favourable to protectionist policies). The most recent political party in the Polish parliament, Poland 2050, led by Szymon Hołownia, has been described as ideologically centrist with strong pragmatic influences.


The only national party that defends itself as a centrist party is Citizens, whose platform is increasingly perceived as right-wing by Spanish citizens, as the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas surveys show. In April 2018, Ciudadanos obtained a 6.77 when ranging political parties from 1 to 10, where one was the farthest left and ten was its equivalent on the right.[62] It first entered the Cortes Generales in 2015.

In Catalonia, where the party was born, many people even consider it an extreme right-wing party, considering its fierce "opposition to nationalism". Not even the media agree on its place, and several newspapers from different ideologies manifest that Citizens is either left or right, depending on their political line. Regardless of subjective opinions, the truth is that Ciudadanos has always tried to reach agreements[63] with Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD), which Spanish voters most traditionally consider to be the closest to the centre, according to several opinion polls. This popular perception was pointed out by UPyD, which positions itself simultaneously on the political centre and cross-sectionalism, thus embracing ideas across the political spectrum.[64][65]

Electors also consider as centrists the Convergence and Union coalition from Catalonia and the Basque Nationalist Party from the Spanish Basque Country, although these two usually consider themselves as right-centrist parties.[66]


In Switzerland, the political centre (German: die Mitte; French: le Centre; Italian: il Centro) is traditionally occupied by the so-called "bourgeois" parties: FDP.The Liberals (centre-right[b]),[67] The Centre and its predecessors (centre to centre-right[c]),[68][69] and the much smaller Evangelical People's Party (centre to centre-left[d]).[70][71] In Switzerland, the centrist parties tend to cooperate closely in cantonal parliaments and municipal councils.

More recently, two newly founded parties have claimed to be part of the political centre: The Green Liberal Party (centre), split from the leftist Green Party, claims to represent the political centre.[72] The Conservative Democratic Party (centre to centre-right), a splinter of the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party, was a self-styled centre party until its 2021 merger with The Centre.[73][74]

The Social Democratic Party is considered to be more left-wing than centrist.[75]

United Kingdom

In 1981, Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Shirley Williams, and Bill Rodgers, known collectively as the "Gang of Four", launched the Social Democratic Party, outlining their policies in what became known as the Limehouse Declaration. The "Gang of Four" were centrists who defected from the Labour Party because of what they perceived to be the influence of Militant and the "hard left" within it.[76][77] The SDP merged with the Liberal Party in 1988 to create the centrist Liberal Democrats.

In the mid-to-late 1990s, Labour, under the leadership of Tony Blair, began to move towards a centrist Third Way policy platform, adopting the campaign name New Labour. The New Labour era ended when Blair's successor, Gordon Brown, lost the 2010 general election to the Conservatives. Brown's successor as leader, Ed Miliband, moved the party to the left of New Labour.[78] The Blue Labour movement, launched in 2009, attempted to cultivate a new path for Labour centrism that would appeal to socially conservative working-class voters. The party later moved decisively to the left when the socialist Jeremy Corbyn became the leader in 2015 due to the introduction of a one member, one vote system under Miliband.

In 2011, Nick Clegg, then leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, stated that he believed that his party belonged to the radical centre, mentioning John Maynard Keynes, William Beveridge, Jo Grimond, David Lloyd George, and John Stuart Mill as examples that preceded the Liberal Democrats' establishment in 1988. He pointed to liberalism as an ideology of people and described the political spectrum and his party's position as follows: "For the left, an obsession with the state. For the right, a worship of the market. But as liberals, we place our faith in people. People with power and opportunity in their hands. Our opponents try to divide us with their outdated labels of left and right. But we are not on the left and we are not on the right. We have our own label: Liberal. We are liberals and we own the freehold to the centre ground of British politics. Our politics is the politics of the radical centre."

In the mid-to-late 2000s, David Cameron also moved the Conservative Party towards the centre and, following the 2010 general election, formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. In the 2015 general election, the Conservatives gained a majority, and the Liberal Democrats lost most of their seats. They regained a small number of seats in the 2017 general election. On her appointment as Prime Minister, Cameron's successor, Theresa May, stated her wish to tackle social inequality and adopted some of Ed Miliband's policies, such as regulating energy companies. However, the party's 2017 manifesto was seen as a sharp break from the centre ground, appealing to traditionally Tory heartland issues in the aftermath of the UK's Brexit referendum.

Following the Brexit referendum, politics in the UK was seen as having reverted to traditionally polarised "left and right" politics. For the 2017 election, the group More United was set up in the vein of the US Super PAC model to support candidates from multiple parties who meet its values; it supported primarily Labour and Lib Dem MPs and one Conservative. In 2018, a group set up by Simon Franks amassed £50 million to start a new centrist political party in the UK to field candidates at the next general election.[79] It was reportedly named United for Change.

In early 2019, difficulties and party clashes regarding Brexit caused many Labour and Conservative MPs to leave their parties, forming a pro-European group named The Independent Group for Change. They later announced their intention to register as a formal party named Change UK. Most sources identified the party as centrist, with Change UK MP Chris Leslie describing the party as "offering a home to those on the centre-left". Former Change UK MP Chuka Umunna joined the Liberal Democrats shortly after the party's formation after disappointing results in the 2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom.[80] After losing all its MPs in the 2019 general election, the party was disbanded.[81]

United States

One could argue the first centrist movement was the Tertium Quids, also called the "Old Republicans." While initially founded as a radical movement in its own right seeking to uphold the principles of '98, this political faction eventually moderated (especially in Pennsylvania and New York State) and sought to work with both moderate Republicans and Federalists.[82][83] Unlike the Jeffersonian Republicans, who sought to build a society, as historian Andrew Shankman put it, "Naive, utopian hopes for a simple agrarian commercial economy without debt, a standing army, a navy, or a vigorous national state," the Tertium Quids sought to work with the Federalists, especially in Pennsylvania, to help build up a trade-centered and urban manufacturing-based commercial economy.[84]

After World War II, centrism was a dominant political philosophy in the United States but lacked its own party in the traditionally two-party country. For example, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. characterised political moderation as a vigorous "Third Force" in his 1949 book, The Vital Center.[85] The book defended liberal democracy and a state-regulated market economy against the totalitarianism of communism and fascism. Harry Truman, who served as U.S. president from 1945 until 1953, is regarded as a centrist Democrat,[86][87] while Dwight Eisenhower, president from 1953 to 1961, is regarded as a centrist Republican.[88][89]

The early 1990s were perhaps the high water mark of post-war centrist politics in America. Journalist and political commentator E. J. Dionne wrote in his book Why Americans Hate Politics, published on the eve of the 1992 presidential election, that he believes American voters are looking for a "New Political Center" that intermixes "liberal instincts" and "conservative values". He labelled people in this centre position as "tolerant traditionalists". He described them as believers in conventional social morals that ensure family stability, as tolerant within reason of those who challenge those morals, and as pragmatically supportive of government intervention in spheres such as education, child care, and health care, as long as budgets are balanced.[90] Independent candidate H. Ross Perot, who focused on pragmatic issues like a balanced budget and was viewed as a populist centrist,[91][92] garnered nearly 19% of the popular vote in the 1992 presidential election, even though he ran against Bill Clinton, a centrist Democrat,[93] and George H. W. Bush, a centre-right Republican.[94] Perot went on to form the Reform Party and run a second time in the 1996 presidential election, but with less success.

A late-2011 Gallup poll of Americans' attitudes towards government reported that 17% expressed conservative views, 22% expressed libertarian views, 20% expressed communitarian views, 17% expressed centrist views, and 24% expressed liberal views.[95]

Americans Elect, a coalition of American centrists funded by wealthy donors such as business magnate Michael Bloomberg, former junk-bond trader Peter Ackerman, and hedge fund manager John H. Burbank III, launched an effort in mid-2011 to create a national "virtual primary" that would challenge the current two-party system. The group aimed to nominate a presidential ticket of centrists with names that would be on ballots in all 50 states. The group banked on broad cultural dissatisfaction with the partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. The Christian Science Monitor has stated that "the political climate couldn't be riper for a serious third-party alternative" such as their effort, but the "hurdles Americans Elect faces are daunting" to get on ballots.[96]

Washington political journalist Linda Killian wrote in her 2012 book The Swing Vote that Americans are frustrated with Congress and its dysfunction and inability to do its job. Many Americans are unsatisfied with the political process because of many factors, such as the influx of money into politics and the influence of special interests and lobbyists. The book classifies four types of independent voters, including "NPR Republicans", "America First Democrats", "The Facebook Generation", and "Starbucks Moms and Dads", who were big determinates of swing votes in the 2012 presidential election.[97] Journalist and author John Avlon wrote in his 2005 book Independent Nation that centrism is not a matter of compromise or reading polls; rather, it is an antidote to the politics of divisiveness, providing principled opposition to political extremes.[98]

Centrists in the two major U.S. political parties are often found in the New Democrat Coalition,[99] the Blue Dog Coalition of the Democratic Party, the Republican Main Street Partnership of the Republican Party, and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. Barack Obama has been widely identified as a centrist Democratic president,[100][101] as has Joe Biden.[102][103] Outside the two major parties, some centrists inhabit the Libertarian Party,[104] independent candidature movements such as Unite America, co-founded by Charles Wheelan, the Forward Party, established by Andrew Yang in 2021,[105] and No Labels, a centrist non-profit that planned a bipartisan "unity ticket" in 2024, but ultimately stood down.

See also


  1. ^ Brokerage politics: "A Canadian term for successful big tent parties that embody a pluralistic catch-all approach to appeal to the median Canadian voter ... adopting centrist policies and electoral coalitions to satisfy the short-term preferences of a majority of electors who are not located on the ideological fringe."[14][15]
  2. ^ The party itself rejects the left-right notion, stating on its FAQ-page that it is a centrist party.
  3. ^ In urban and Protestant areas, the party tends to be more centrist than in rural, predominantly Catholic areas.
  4. ^ The party rejects the left-right classification, but it tends to be on the centre or centre-left on social and environmental issues, centrist on economic issues and centre-right on ethical issues.


  1. ^ Woshinsky, Oliver H.. (2008). Explaining Politics: Culture, Institutions, and Political Behavior. Taylor & Francis. pp. 141, 161. ISBN 978-0-203-93318-3. OCLC 1251767064.
  2. ^ Boswell, Jonathan (2013). Community and the Economy: The Theory of Public Co-operation. Routledge. p. 160. ISBN 978-1136159015.
  3. ^ Tehusijarana, Karina M.; Arbi, Ivany Atina (24 August 2019). "Weaponizing Pancasila". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 24 December 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  4. ^ Aspinall, Edward; Fossati, Diego; Muhtadi, Burhanuddin; Warburton, Eve (24 April 2018). "Mapping the Indonesian political spectrum". New Mandala. Archived from the original on 30 January 2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  5. ^ Arif, Syaiful (17 October 2020). "Soekarno and the Social Centrism of Pancasila". Kompas. Archived from the original on 22 October 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  6. ^ Slomp, Hans (2000). European Politics Into the Twenty-First Century: Integration and Division. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 35. ISBN 0275968146.
  7. ^ Forrester, Katrina (18 November 2019). "The crisis of liberalism: why centrist politics can no longer explain the world". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  8. ^ Bobbio, Norberto (1996). Cameron, Allan (ed.). Left and Right: The Significance of a Political Distinction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-06245-7. OCLC 35001802.
  9. ^ "UK Politics — What is the Third Way?". BBC News. 27 September 1999. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  10. ^ Nazneen, Sohela (March 2009). "Bangladesh: Political Party Discourses and Women's Empowerment". South Asian Journal (24): 44–52. ISSN 1729-6242.
  11. ^ "Bangladesh: Political Trends and Key Players" (PDF). Observer Research Foundation.
  12. ^ Kumpel, Larissa; Rocha, Luiza (29 September 2022). "What is Centrão and what is the origin of the term?". Estado de Minas (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  13. ^ Bittner, Amanda; Koop, Royce (2013). Parties, Elections, and the Future of Canadian Politics. UBC Press. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-7748-2411-8. Domination by the Centre The central anomaly of the Canadian system, and the primary cause of its other peculiarities, has been its historical domination by a party of the centre. In none of the other countries is a centre party even a major player, much less the dominant....
  14. ^ a b Marland, Alex; Giasson, Thierry; Lees-Marshment, Jennifer (2012). Political Marketing in Canada. UBC Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0-7748-2231-2.
  15. ^ Courtney, John; Smith, David (2010). The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Politics. OUP. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-19-533535-4.
  16. ^ Brooks, Stephen (2004). Canadian Democracy: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-19-541806-4. two historically dominant political parties have avoided ideological appeals in favour of a flexible centrist style of politics that is often labelled "brokerage politics"
  17. ^ Johnson, David (2016). Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada, Fourth Edition. University of Toronto Press. pp. 13–23. ISBN 978-1-4426-3521-0. ...most Canadian governments, especially at the federal level, have taken a moderate, centrist approach to decision making, seeking to balance growth, stability, and governmental efficiency and economy...
  18. ^ a b Baumer, Donald C.; Gold, Howard J. (2015). Parties, Polarization and Democracy in the United States. Taylor & Francis. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-317-25478-2.
  19. ^ Smith, Miriam (2014). Group Politics and Social Movements in Canada: Second Edition. University of Toronto Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-4426-0695-1. Canada's party system has long been described as a "brokerage system" in which the leading parties (Liberal and Conservative) follow strategies that appeal across major social cleavages in an effort to defuse potential tensions.
  20. ^ "Plurality-Majority Electoral Systems: A Review". Elections Canada. 2018. Archived from the original on 15 November 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2023. First Past the Post in Canada has favoured broadly-based, accommodative, centrist parties...
  21. ^ Olive, Andrea (2015). The Canadian Environment in Political Context. University of Toronto Press. pp. 55–60. ISBN 978-1-4426-0871-9.
  22. ^ Bittner, Amanda; Koop, Royce (2013). Parties, Elections, and the Future of Canadian Politics. UBC Press. pp. 300–. ISBN 978-0-7748-2411-8.
  23. ^ "Liberal Party". The Canadian Encyclopedia. 2015.
  24. ^ Trudeau, Pierre Elliott (1998). Graham, Ron (ed.). The essential Trudeau. Toronto: M & S. ISBN 0-7710-8591-5. OCLC 39335443.
  25. ^ Thompson, Wayne C. (2017). Canada (Thirty-third ed.). Lanham, MD. ISBN 978-1-4758-3510-6. OCLC 987281054.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  26. ^ Ambrose, Emma; Mudde, Cas (2015). "Canadian Multiculturalism and the Absence of the Far Right". Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. 21 (2): 213–236. doi:10.1080/13537113.2015.1032033. S2CID 145773856.
  27. ^ Taub, Amanda (2017). "Canada's Secret to Resisting the West's Populist Wave". The New York Times.
  28. ^ Cochran, Christopher (September 2010). "Left/Right Ideology and Canadian Politics". Canadian Journal of Political Science. 43 (3): 583–605. doi:10.1017/S0008423910000624. JSTOR 40983510. S2CID 154420921.
  29. ^ a b c Perottino, Michel; Guasti, Petra (17 December 2020). "Technocratic Populism à la Française? The Roots and Mechanisms of Emmanuel Macron's Success". Politics and Governance. 8 (4): 545–555. doi:10.17645/pag.v8i4.3412. ISSN 2183-2463. S2CID 230556752.
  30. ^ "Political Parties" (PDF). National Council of Educational Research and Training. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  31. ^ Cabestan, Jean-Pierre; deLisle, Jacques, eds. (2013). Inside India Today (Routledge Revivals). Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-04823-5. ... were either guarded in their criticism of the ruling party — the centrist Indian National Congress — or attacked it almost invariably from a rightist position. This was so for political and commercial reasons, which are explained, ...
  32. ^ Lakshmi, Rama (3 February 2020). "No soft Hindutva, no Left Revolution, Kejriwal establishing a new centre in Indian politics". Archived from the original on 23 October 2022.
  33. ^ "Maharashtra: The political crisis brewing in India's richest state". BBC News. 23 June 2022. Archived from the original on 21 July 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  34. ^ "Centrist Polity, Decentred Politics". Economic and Political Weekly: 7–8. 5 June 2015.
  35. ^ Nageshwar, Prof K (27 May 2017). "Tumultuous transition". The Hans India. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  36. ^ "Makkal Needhi Maiam declares 70 candidates". The Hindu. 11 March 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  37. ^ "Airlangga Hartarto: Golkar as a Middle Party Builds for All". Tribun-Timur. 26 December 2022. Archived from the original on 26 December 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  38. ^ Brown, John Murray (13 February 2009). "Irish Poll Hits Fianna Fail". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  39. ^ Crimmins, Carmel (12 December 2010). Heavens, Louise (ed.). "Irish opposition party says IMF/EU deal too costly". Reuters. Dublin. Archived from the original on 13 February 2023. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  40. ^ Lapid, Yair (22 April 2022). "Only the center can hold: Democracy and the battle of ideas". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  41. ^ "Not "ust not Bibi": in this war of ideas, the center has solutions". הארץ (in Hebrew). 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  42. ^ a b Buttu, Diana (9 December 2014). "There Are No Centrists in Israel". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  43. ^ a b c Rothacher, Albrecht, ed. (2016). The Japanese Power Elite. Springer. p. 121. ISBN 9781349229932.
  44. ^ Brown, James; Delamotte, Guibourg; Dujarric, Robert, eds. (2021). The Abe Legacy: How Japan Has Been Shaped by Abe Shinzo. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 24. ISBN 9781793643315. A coalition of fragments of the old Japan Socialist Party, the former "centrist" Democratic Socialist Party, and disaffected refugees from the LDP, its mastermind was Ozawa Ichiro, the most formidable of Tanaka Kakuei's disciples.
  45. ^ Hogan, Michael J, ed. (1996). Hiroshima in History and Memory. Cambridge University Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780521566827.
  46. ^ Murphy, R. Taggart, ed. (2014). Japan and the Shackles of the Past. Oxford University Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780190213251. A coalition of fragments of the old Japan Socialist Party, the former "centrist" Democratic Socialist Party, and disaffected refugees from the LDP, its mastermind was Ozawa Ichiro, the most formidable of Tanaka Kakuei's disciples.
  47. ^ Austrian Foreign Policy Yearbook. Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 1993. p. 98. The new reform parties were successful, but the socialists lost almost half of their seats . a At the beginning of August the leader of the liberal Japan New Party, Morihiro Hosokawa, formed a new broadly – based coalition government ...
  48. ^ "New National Democratic Party – Let's make a new answer". Retrieved 13 February 2023.[verification needed]
  49. ^ "【2022 Party Congress] Greetings from Representative Kenta Izumi". 立憲民主党 (in Japanese). 27 February 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  50. ^ "Rastriya Swatantra Party adopts 'pluralistic democracy' as its guiding principle". Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  51. ^ Dhakal, Ameet. "Rise of Rastriya Swatantra Party due to frustration with major parties". Setopati. Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  52. ^ "One year young: Calls for clarity in RSP's political vision". Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  53. ^ "Political Barometer: D66 middle party par excellence" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2011.
  54. ^ Stichting, Anne Frank (20 January 2011). "Chronicle far right: The Center Party".
  55. ^ "Euthanasia bill passes final vote, goes to referendum". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  56. ^ "Purpose and Principles". New Zealand First. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  57. ^ "Winston Peters 'kingmaker' in hung NZ parliament as nation awaits result". ABC News. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  58. ^ Hassan, Mirza (28 June 2012). "Survey: Imran Khan most popular leader of Pakistan". Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  59. ^ "". Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  60. ^ Saifi, Sophia; Raja, Adeel; Dewan, Angela (28 July 2018). "Imran Khan's party wins Pakistan election but falls short of majority". CNN. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  61. ^ Prusher, Ilene R. (13 December 2005). "Palestinian 'third way' rises". Christian Science Monitor. Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 15 February 2023.
  62. ^ "Sociological Research Cente" (PDF). 27 July 2018.
  63. ^ Esteban, Paloma (24 June 2015). "Lozano advocates the pact with Ciudadanos "as new weather calls for"". (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  64. ^ "Andrés Herzog will succeed Rosa Díez at the head of UPyD". Reuters (in Spanish). 11 July 2015. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016. En su último discurso como portavoz de UPyD, Díez reivindicó a su formación -que se define como un partido progresista situado en el centro político-, como el artífice del cambio político en España
  65. ^ González Almeida, José María (12 November 2013). "UPyD: The evolution of politics in Spain". (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2016. UPyD ofrece entendimiento a través del transversalismo, que bien pueden servir sin necesidad de inclinarse a un lado o a otro, ya que todos tienen algo positivo que aportar y la formación magenta sabe bien sintetizar lo mejor de cada idea, ofreciendo un dulce cóctel al ciudadano
  66. ^ "Study Marginal Frequency Distributions 2909 Questionnaire". CIS-Centro de Estudios Sociológico). see Question number 27
  67. ^ "A strong liberal force is needed in Parliament – more than ever". 19 December 2013.
  68. ^ "The CVP is the party of the center!". 13 April 2021.
  69. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". CVP Schweiz. 13 April 2021.
  70. ^ "Party – EVP Switzerland".
  71. ^ "In the parliamentary rating, the EPP stands alone with the social center, there is no one!". 14 November 2017.
  72. ^ "Parteigeschichte".
  73. ^ "BDP Switzerland › Heads". 13 April 2021.
  74. ^ "Smartvote Party Portrait: Civil Democratic Party (BDP), page 3" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  75. ^ "Political structure". Retrieved 13 February 2023.
  76. ^ Childs, Peter; Storry, Michael (2013). Encyclopedia of Contemporary British Culture. Routledge. p. 485. ISBN 978-1-134-75555-4.
  77. ^ Sassoon, Donald (2010). One Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century. I.B. Tauris. p. 698. ISBN 978-0-85771-530-2.
  78. ^ Barker, Alex (26 September 2010). "Miliband declares New Labour dead". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  79. ^ Savage, Michael (8 April 2018). "New centrist party gets £50m backing to 'break mould' of UK politics". The Guardian.
  80. ^ Stewart, Heather; Weaver, Matthew (14 June 2019). "Chuka Umunna joins Lib Dems: 'No room for two in centre ground'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  81. ^ Perraudin, Francis (19 December 2019). "Independent Group for Change to be disbanded". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  82. ^ Cunningham, Noble E. (1963). "Who Were the Quids?". The Mississippi Valley Historical Review. pp. 252–263. doi:10.2307/1902756.
  83. ^ Shankman, Andrew (2003). ""A New Thing on Earth": Alexander Hamilton, Pro-Manufacturing Republicans, and the Democratization of American Political Economy". Journal of the Early Republic. pp. 323–352. doi:10.2307/3595043.
  84. ^ Shankman, Andrew (2003). ""A New Thing on Earth": Alexander Hamilton, Pro-Manufacturing Republicans, and the Democratization of American Political Economy". Journal of the Early Republic. pp. 323–352. doi:10.2307/3595043.
  85. ^ Schlesinger, Arthur Jr. (4 April 1948). "Not Left, Not Right, But a Vital Center". The New York Times.
  86. ^ Emery, Noemie (17 July 2006). "The Inconvenient Truth about Truman". Washington Examiner.
  87. ^ Zeitz, Joshua (4 November 2018). "Democrats Aren't Moving Left. They're Returning to Their Roots". Politico.
  88. ^ Choilet, Derek (7 May 2019). "Why Democrats – and all Americans – Should Embrace Centrism". The Washington Post.
  89. ^ Bartlett, Bruce (24 August 2020). "When the Republican Party Was Sane". The New Republic.
  90. ^ Dionne, E.J. Jr. (Winter 2000). "Why Americans Hate Politics: A Reprise". Brookings Research. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  91. ^ Judas, John (19 May 1996). "The Third Rail". The New Republic.
  92. ^ Kazin, Michael (22 November 1998). "'Populism' By any Other Name . . ". Los Angeles Times.
  93. ^ Funk, Tim (25 February 2016). "Bill Clinton's centrist legacy becomes an issue as his wife courts the left". Charlotte Observer.
  94. ^ Allen, Jonathan (1 December 2018). "As a moderate Republican and internationalist, George H.W. Bush was last of a kind". NBC News.
  95. ^ Ekins, Emily (29 August 2011). "Reason-Rupe Poll Finds 24 Percent of Americans are Economically Conservative and Socially Liberal, 28 Percent Liberal, 28 Percent Conservative, and 20 Percent Communitarian". Reason. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  96. ^ Jonsson, Patrik (29 July 2011). "Americans Elect launches centrist third-party bid amid Washington dysfunction". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  97. ^ Killian, Linda (February 2012). "4 Types of Independent Voters Who Could Swing the 2012 Elections". The Atlantic. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  98. ^ "Independent Nation: How the Vital Center Is Changing American Politics". Publishers Weekly. 1 February 2004. Retrieved 4 November 2017. Avlon's thesis by exploring political battlegrounds-from state primaries to presidential campaigns-in which a centrist message succeeded. To Avlon centrism is not a matter of compromise or reading polls; rather it's an antidote to the politics of divisiveness, providing principled opposition to political extremes.
  99. ^ Pollard, Vic (15 March 2007). "Pollard column: 'Mod squad' lockout has Parra steamed". The Bakersfield Californian. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  100. ^ Noor, Poppy (18 December 2019). "OK boomer: how Barack Obama became the ultimate centrist dad". The Guardian.
  101. ^ Kiely, Kathy; Moore, Martha (3 July 2008). "Obama faces online backlash for centrist views". ABC News.
  102. ^ Smith, Sean (15 November 2020). "Be warned Joe Biden – centrism is no longer a safe haven in politics". The Independent.
  103. ^ Hook, Janet (12 August 2020). "Picking Harris, Biden puts centrist stamp on Democrats' future". Los Angeles Times.
  104. ^ Olson, Walter (16 August 2016). "Gary Johnson and the Rise of Libertarian Centrism". Reason. Reason Foundation. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  105. ^ Busch, Andrew (20 October 2021). "Can Third Parties Make a Difference in 2024?". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved 22 October 2021.

Further reading